Posts Tagged ‘RTDNA’

Excellence in Journalism 2011: Recap

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend this year’s annual SPJ conference. For those who didn’t, here are the highlights of the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference (i.e., EIJ 2011).

For the first time, SPJ combined its conference with RTDNA, a move that boosted attendance from 800 to about 1,300! Held at the Sheraton in New Orleans, the mood at the conference was enthusiastic, and NOLA greeted conference guests with wonderful music, fabulous food and friendly hospitality.

Instead of the sometimes overdone “future of journalism” panels, this conference focused on all of the great things going on in the media world today including video storytelling with Al Tompkins of The Poynter Institute and Les Rose of CBS News LA Bureau; mobile tools for journalists with Damon Kiesow,; ethics, diversity and social media programs; a supersession with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien; keynote with Jeff Fager of CBS News; awards programs and more.

And, as always, SPJ held its usual committee meetings, business meetings, leadership sessions and diversity mentor program. SDX also held its semiannual board meeting and subcommittee meetings.

Of particular note are the following changes to how SPJ operates:

– The one-member, one-vote bylaws amendment passed, granting ALL active members of SPJ the right to vote for candidates running for SPJ office.

– Effective January 1, professional dues increase to $75 from $72. Student and graduate dues increase to $37.50 from $36. Click here for additional information regarding the increase.

– SPJ membership voted to condemn the use of the terms illegal alien and illegal immigrant.

The national SPJ board voted in favor of replacing the chapter Star Ranking system in favor of a simpler ranking system. Note:  I will provide more info. on these changes to chapter leaders once the final language has been approved.

– The Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award will remain retired.

– Award Winners include

Wells Memorial Key:  Al Cross
Regional Director of the Year:  Brian Eckert

– The following officers were elected to serve the SPJ national board and SPJ membership:

President:  John Ensslin
President-Elect:  Sonny Albarado
Secretary-Treasurer:  David Cuillier
Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs:  Neil Ralston
At-Large Director:  Bill McCloskey
Campus Adviser At-Large:  George Daniels
Region 2 Director:  Brian Eckert
Region 3 Director:  Michael Koretsky
Region 6 Director:  Amanda Theisen
Region 10 Director:  Dana Neuts
Region 11 Director:  Teri Carnicelli
Region 12 Director:  Kelly Kissel
Student Representatives:  Gideon Grudo and Taylor Mirfendereski

We held a Region 10 business meeting on Sun., Sept. 25 to hold the RD election (I ran unopposed), discuss the regional contest and spring conference and hear updates from the chapters represented (W. Washington Pro, Snake River Pro, Montana Pro and William O. Douglas). We also talked about how chapters might work together in terms of support and sharing programing ideas.

Up next:  The 2012 Excellence in Journalism Conference (EIJ 2012) will be held at the Harbor Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL Sept. 20 – 22.

Resurrecting the Region 10 blog

So, folks have been asking me about our  Region 10 blog. I admit I have neglected the blog this spring. With too much to juggle, something had to give and this was it…but SPJ life is returning to normal, and I am committed to keeping this blog up to date. Want to help? Send me your chapter news, events and updates so we can learn from each other and share ideas!

Here’s a brief recap of our spring so far:

– February-March:  Approximately 2,500 contest entries were submitted to the 2009 Pacific NW Excellence in Journalism Contest, and passed on to out-of-state judges at SPJ chapters around the country.

– March 1:  Regional Director reports on individual chapters were due.

– April 10:  The Western Washington Pro Chapter hosted the spring SPJ conference in Seattle. With about 150 in attendance, the conference drew about 50% students and 50% pros, a big change from the 25%/75% split usually seen. National SPJ president-elect Hagit Limor from Cincinnati attended the conference which focused on providing skills-based training. The conference also included an awards ceremony to honor student MOE winners. Regional winners will go onto compete at the national level.

– April 17:  As regional director, I attended the national SPJ board meeting in Indianapolis where I learned about SPJ’s proposed budget for the 2010-2011 year; HQ’s plans to launch its new and improved, user-friendly website complete with video training; that the joint SPJ-RTDNA 2011 conference will be held in New Orleans; and more.

– April 20:  Added a Facebook group for Region 10. Join us here.

– April 27:  The last week of April chapter presidents were given the names of contest winners to begin making announcements. The Oregon/SW Washington and Western Washington Pro chapters host a formal banquet, while the William O. Douglas chapter will honor its winners with a less formal BBQ.

What’s new in your chapter? Send your news to me via email or post comments here.


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